The best wedding video editing tips will prepare you for all kinds of situations, including having to work with footage that simply isn’t good enough. Do you know how to reduce noisy / grainy footage? As a videographer, you’ll need to master that skill.
A professional videographer knows what it takes to make shots crisp and beautiful.
Occasionally, however, equipment will malfunction, the wedding venue will not cooperate and conditions will change all of the sudden. On top of that, the bride and groom may want to feature some additional footage in their wedding clip that hasn’t been created on you.
This is the stuff that nightmares are made of.
Dealing with noisy and grainy footage can be a real challenge but there are things you can do. Wedding video editing tips and tricks do address such situations and today, we’ll examine a couple of the essential strategies to master.
Good Videography Is Important!
Generally, a videographer wants to prevent a need to correct video in post by pre-planning their lighting and camera settings. The best an editor can hope for is the videographer captures great footage. There’s only so much an editor can do to salvage poorly captured footage.
The same applies to audio – fixing poorly recorded audio is a nearly impossible task. In such instances, alternative creative strategies will have to be employed and the videographer will need to pray for the best.
Imagine the following scenario, however – a couple comes to you with some old footage. They want to turn it in a modern clip and have a beautiful reminder of the most special day in their life.
The only problem is that the video is one of the grainiest things you’ve seen in your life.
Could you offer such clients assistance and is there any way to salvage such poorly created footage? Check out the following wedding video editing tips to reduce grainy shots and make them a bit more palatable.
I was Given Grainy Footage – How do I Fit it?
There are several great plug-ins available for purchase such as Red Giant Magic Bullet Denoiser III and Neat Video. For weddings, I’ve found I don’t need to spend the extra cash on a plug-in if I use my Adobe Creative Cloud products.
As far as step-by-step editing instructions go, here are the specifics to master:
- Open Adobe Premiere and add your video clip to a sequence.
- Right-click and select Replace with After Effects Composition.
- Adobe After Effects will open and automatically create a new composition. The clip will already in the timeline with the name matching the original clip.
- Select the Effects & Presets dropdown menu on the right side of the screen.
- Enter “grain” into the search line. An effect titled Remove Grain will appear as one of the options found in the search query.
A little square will pop up in the middle of the frame. This square is a preview of what the effect will look like when applied to the shot.
The image below is zoomed in to better show the smoothing effect on the groom’s face. The graininess has been reduced, but so have some of the details such as his stubble line. In reality, this specific shot is not a close up so the effect will not create blurry shot that appears here, but a very subtle, smoother look.
Open the effects controls located on the left side of the screen. Change the frame control from preview to final output to apply the effect.
Want More Control of Your Effect?
While the Effects Control is visible, there are drop downs for different settings such as fine tuning, filtering, etc. Use these settings to better fine tune the effect to achieve the desired look. For weddings, there most likely will not be a need fine tune much, if at all. The preset effect itself should create the look you desire.
The before and after examples below are zoomed in to better view the change the effect creates. If you cannot see it, focus on looking the couples’ skin to better see the grain/noise reduction. The visual changes will always be very subtle, but will give your video a cleaner look.
I find the coolest part of using After Effects is when I go back to my project on Premiere, the clip will already be adjusted and synced up for me.
If I decide to go back and tweak the effect on the clip, I simply open up After Effects and make my adjustments. In Premiere, my composition inside the sequence will auto update in real time.
De-noise/grain removal is not very complicated. You can buy a plug in such as Denoiser III or Neat Video for a quick and easy fix to your grainy, noisy footage. However, for a wedding, if you already use Adobe CC, you can save your money and apply the Remove Grain effect to your clip in After Effects.
A small amount of detail may be lost in the shot after applying a de-noising effect. However, it creates a soft look for a wedding that appeals to so many couples watching their memories of their precious day.
If your client-couple desires a sharper look, tweak the settings and try to balance between smoothing the grain and keeping the detail. There is no set standard. It is all in the eye of the beholder.
A Few Additional Tips: How to Reduce Noisy / Grainy Footage
You have to be very careful when attempting to fix grainy footage. Overdoing the effects may result in an even worse outcome than what you started with. Hence, be gentle and take it one step at a time when doing post-production work.
Sometimes, even your best efforts will not make the footage more watchable and enjoyable.
Should you buy additional plugins and software solutions in such instances or just throw in the towel?
If you haven’t worked with plugins and denoiser programs in the past, chances are that you’re not going to get a professional outcome out of the platform. You will be spending money on something that doesn’t necessarily have the potential to give your clients what they’re hoping for.
In such instances, it makes a lot more sense to outsource the wedding video editing process.
Post-production experts often have to handle noisy and grainy footage. They know what it takes to reduce the blur and to sharpen the quality of the visual. They can also tell you if the footage is damaged beyond salvation.
Outsourcing wedding video post-production is a cost-efficient choice that many wedding videographers have embraced already. It results in beautiful, professional clips and it also frees up a lot of time that videographers can dedicate to interacting with their clients.
Instead of learning from wedding video editing tutorials, get in touch with a post-production team. If you have a chance of improving the footage you’d been given, that would be it.
Finally, understand the fact that being honest with your clients is always the best policy. If you don’t know how to reduce noisy / grainy footage, tell your client!
If the footage is damaged beyond repair, give them your honest opinion. People will appreciate your feedback much more than your failed attempts to repair the video (that will cost clients money). Yes, there will be some disappointment at first but your genuine feedback will definitely be appreciated.
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